Monday, April 30, 2012

REVIEW: Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi

Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi
Publishing Information: Kindle
Publisher: Tor; 10 May 2011
ISBN 10: 0765328542
ISBN 13: 978-0765328540
Copy: Out of pocket
Reviewer: Tyson

Synopsis:""Jack Holloway works alone. Hundreds of miles from ZaraCorp’s headquarters on planet, 178 light-years from the corporation’s headquarters on Earth, Jack is content as an independent contractor. As for his past, that’s not up for discussion.

Then, in the wake of an accidental cliff collapse, Jack discovers a seam of unimaginably valuable jewels, to which he manages to lay legal claim just as ZaraCorp is cancelling their contract with him for his part in causing the collapse. Briefly in the catbird seat, legally speaking, Jack pressures ZaraCorp into recognizing his claim, and cuts them in as partners to help extract the wealth.

But there’s another wrinkle to ZaraCorp’s relationship with the planet Zarathustra. Their entire legal right to exploit the verdant Earth-like planet is based on being able to certify to the authorities on Earth that Zarathustra is home to no sentient species.

Then a small furry biped—trusting, appealing, and ridiculously cute—shows up at Jack’s outback home. Followed by its family. As it dawns on Jack that despite their stature, these are people, he begins to suspect that ZaraCorp’s claim to a planet’s worth of wealth is very flimsy indeed…and that ZaraCorp may stop at nothing to eliminate the “fuzzys” before their existence becomes more widely known."

There are very few authors that you can always count on to entertain you and also tell a darn good tale. John Scalzi is one of those authors. Fuzzy Nation was originally conceived by an author named H. Beam Piper in a three book series entitled Fuzzy. The first novel Little Fuzzy and its two sequels were the inspiration for Scalzi's novel. A side project that benefits fans of the author. While I have not read the original series and cannot comment on it, I am told that this story is as much similar to the original as it is different.

Fuzzy Nation tells the story of Jack Holloway is somewhat of a loner working as a speculator on the planet Zarathustra that is for all intents and purposes going to be stripped mined for its various precious elements. That is until a a little creature comes into his shed/house and changes his life and the status of the planet. As with all of Scalzi's work the story is infused with lots of humor and interesting situations. Which in the case of this novel, usually deal with either the Fuzzies or Holloway's dog. There are several other interesting characters and of a greedy corporation that is the pain in Holloway's side.

I think the reason I enjoyed the novel so much is that it is really paced well and the humor is in all of the right places. Add to the fact that the story is not far-fetched and you have a lovable group of aliens make for a great book. Holloway is also someone that you can sympathize with. Anyone who has read and enjoyed any of Scalzi's previous work will love this one as well.

Plot 9/10
Characters 9/10
Style 9/10

Overall 9/10